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The Queensland Tourism Industry Council is excited to present a new Tourism Award Program in 2021 to recognise Queensland’s diverse and outstanding regional destinations.

QTIC's Top Tourism Town Awards aim to recognise and reward towns that work together with their tourism operators, businesses and local community to make their destination the best it can be. The towns must offer an amazing visitor experience, demonstrate strong commitment and encourage tourism and increased visitation. 

There are two Awards in the 2021 Program: 

  1. Top Tourism Town Award – those with a population over 5,000  

  1. Small Tourism Town Award – those with a population below 5,000 

Nationally, in 2021 the Top Tourism Town program is being introduced in each state and territory as part of the Australian Tourism Awards series. 

State winners will have the opportunity to represent Queensland at the National Awards and be named Australia’s Top Tourism Town!  

Top Tourism Town Winners 2021

Welcome to Noosa, one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations, where coastal, river and hinterland villages welcome you with superb beaches, pristine waterways, outdoor adventure, fresh cuisine and a community passionate about protecting this natural wonderland. Noosa’s natural beauty is at the heart of it all – it’s why our region is globally recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a World Surfing Reserve, is home to one of only two everglades systems on Earth, and has a World Heritage-listed wonder on the doorstep.

Find Noosa's itinerary here.
Website:  https://www.visitnoosa.com.au

The picturesque seaside communities of Agnes Water and the Town of 1770 offer a diverse range of activities and experiences for your next holiday – including iconic Queensland beaches, pure national parks, access to the heart of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and so much more! Here the climate is best described as perfect, with more than 280 days of sunshine each year. Imagine swimming in crystal clear waters, unwinding on your own deserted beach, kayaking or surfing beside dolphins playing, sailing and bushwalking.

Find Agnes Water's itinerary here.
Website:  https://www.gladstoneregion.info

Who can Nominate?

Nominations will be accepted by an accredited Visitor Information Centre.  Visitor Information Centres are encouraged to work with their Regional Tourism Organisation, Local Tourism Organisation, Council or committed group of local operators.  

How to Enter

Please ensure you read the Top Tourism Town overview here.
Nominations will open on 19th January via online.qualitytourismaustralia.com
*Top Tourism Town was held in Tasmania in 2020, view sample winning Top Tourism Town submission here.


Top Tourism Town Award winner will receive: 

$25,000 Strategic Consulting and Capacity Building package provided by EarthCheck 

  • $10,000 towards destination management, capacity building and programs delivered by EarthCheck's CEO and Founder. This includes facilitation of a workshop for Councilors and staff on destination stewardship and responsible tourism.

  • $15,000, to cover the cost for 12 months membership to EarthCheck’s Sustainable Destination Program including the appointment of a dedicated Relationship Manager for Council.

  • Access to the Leading Destinations of the World program.

  • Access to the resources of the EarthCheck Research Institute.

  • Carbon and Net Zero Reporting

  • Click here for further details about EarthCheck and the prize

  • Electronic logo 

  • Town signage artwork 

  • Top Tourism Town Trophy 

  • Recognition and promotion as Queensland’s Top Tourism Town 

  • The opportunity to represent Queensland at the National Awards and be named Australia’s Top Tourism Town 

Top Small Tourism Town Award Winner will receive: 

  • $7,500 Tourism Consultancy and Development Package provided by The Tourism Group 

    • One of The Tourism Group’s experienced consultants will visit your town to meet with Council and Tourism representatives to evaluate and determine opportunities to leverage the benefits of the Award, specifically in the area of Visitor Services and Customer Experience. Click here for further details about The Tourism Group.

  • Electronic logo 

  • Town signage artwork 

  • Top Small Tourism Town Trophy 

  • Recognition and promotion as Queensland’s Top Small Tourism Town 

  • The opportunity to represent Queensland at the National Awards and be named Australia’s Top Small Tourism Town 

Judging and Public Vote

An expert panel of 3 Judges review the town written submission and score individually.  All entrants that reach a score of 75% from the Judges will be deemed a finalist and proceed to the consumer / public voting component of the award process.

Voting has now closed. Voting took place between 11 April to 11.59pm, 26 April 2021.  

The total score for the town is made up of:

  • 30% score determined by panel of industry Judges and
  • 70% score determined by public consumer vote

The Judges will combine the written score with the consumer voted score to determine the winner of each category.

Key Dates:  

Nominations Open 

19 January 2021 

Nominations Close 

  • Nomination forms must be completed by 5pm, 23 February, 2021 

23 February 2021 

Submissions Due 

  • Submissions including Editorial Article, Itinerary and Video can be received and uploaded any time up to 5pm, 30 March 2021. An expert panel of experienced tourism professionals will review and score each entry. 

30 March 2021 

Consumer / Public Voting Period 

  • All entrants that reach a score of 75% from the judges will be deemed a finalist and proceed to the public voting component of the awards process. 

11 April to 26 April 2021

Queensland Winners Announced 

  • The Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport, will announce the winning towns at a very special event to be held at 1 William Street, Brisbane (home of the Queensland Government) on Thursday 20 May. 

20 May 2021 

Click here for the TOP TOURISM TOWN promotional flyer 



QTIC acknowledges and thanks the following partners for their support.